Janelle Monáe – Dirty Computer
I’ve been a fan since the Metropolis Suite, and this album continues my admiration. What makes this album resonate so much in its humanity and vulnerability. The film she Monáe made for the album only enriches the narrative.
Superchunk – What a Time To Be Alive
Mac McCaughan is pissed off, and he’s channeled it into an outstanding collection of songs that not only speaks to the current day, but pulls together 30+ years of political insanity.
Jeff Rosenstock – POST-
Jeff Rosenstock released POST- on New Year’s Day, just about a full year into the Trump presidency. While he’s covering the same themes as Superchunk, he’s doing so from his distinctive perspective of being a DIY, working-class musician trying to not get buried under. Also, this album rocks, full of riffs and melody.
Tracey Thorn – Record
Thorn describes the album as “nine feminist bangers,” and she’s not wrong. You can lock into her grooves, or dig deeper into the nuances of her lyrics and performance.
The Beths – Future Me Hates Me
This album grew on me with each listen. It’s a well-defined debut album that takes classic New Zealand jangle-pop as a basis for tight, fuzz-filled rock music.
Shame – Songs of Praise
This is another debut album that really stuck with me. The heavy guitars and angular rhythms drew me in, and then I started really listening to the lyrical mix of self-confidence, defeatism, and wit.
Salad Boys – This is Glue
This album combines drone, jangle, and fuzz into a series of songs that just keep going, and going, and going. Vocals are coolly whispered or softly sung, meant to be mixed into the sound rather than rise above it.
- Amen Dunes – Freedom
- Antarctigo Vespucci – Love in the Time of E-Mail
- BODEGA – Endless Scroll
- The Breeders – All Nerve
- Car Seat Headrest – Twin Fantasy
- Connections – Foreign Affairs
- Elvis Costello and the Imposters – Look Now
- DJ Koze – Knock Knock
- Frankie Cosmos – Vessel
- Creep Show – Mr. Dynamite
- The Decemberists – I’ll Be Your Girl
- The Essex Green – Hardly Electronic
- Eternal Summers – Every Day It Feels Like I’m Dying…
- Forth Wanderers – s/t
- Hinds – I Don’t Run
- Hookworms – Microshifts
- Hop Along – Bark Your Head Off, Dog
- Horse Feathers – Appreciation
- Iceage – Beyondless
- Interpol – Marauders
- Las Rosas – Shadow By Your Side
- Loma – Loma
- LUMP – LUMP
- Major Murphy – No. 1
- Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks – Sparkle Hard
- Mitski – Be the Cowboy
- The Monochrome Set – Maisieworld
- Nap Eyes – I’m Bad Now
- No Age – Snares Like a Haircut
- Ought – Room Inside the World
- Parquet Courts – Wide Awake!
- Pinegrove – Skylight
- Prince – Piano & a Microphone 1983
- The Rock-a-Teens – Sixth House
- Screaming Females – All At Once
- Ty Segall – Freedom’s Goblin
- Shopping – The Official Body
- Snail Mail – Lush
- Soccer Mommy – Clean
- Speedy Ortiz – Twerp Verse
- The Spook School – Could It Be Different?
- D.A. Stern – Aloha Hola
- Matthew Sweet- Tomorrow’s Daughter
- Richard Thompson – 13 Rivers
- Tres Oui – Poised to Flourish
- Jeff Tweedy – WARM
- U.S. Girls – In a Poem Unlimited
- Warm Bodies – Warm Bodies
- Wye Oak – The Louder I Call, The Faster It Runs
- Yo La Tengo – There’s a Riot Going On
The Year in Shows
- Springsteen on Broadway
- Shame at Schubas
- Nada Surf (“Let Go” 15th anniversary) at Metro
- The Breeders at Vic Theatre
- The New Pornographers with Split Single at Temperance Brewery/SPACE
- Rootstock Festival in Pommard, France
- Guided by Voices/Split Single/Waco Brothers at Out of SPACE Block Party
- Garbage (Version 2.0 20th Anniversary) at the Riviera Theater
- Protomartyr and Preoccupations at Thalia Hall